Lan-Hung Nora Chiang (National Taiwan University), Mobile Young Global Talents: A Pilot Study of Taiwanese in Singapore and Hong Kong SAR , English/37 pages, November 2014.


This paper studies young Taiwanese who migrated to Singapore or/and Hong Kong for work, study or family reasons. It is based mainly on 39 in-depth interviews conducted in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in 2011-2014, thus obtaining narratives that contain detailed information to render nuanced understanding of the interviewees and the environment. The paper begins with a review of pertinent literature that includes youth migration and global talent, and the 1.5 generation migrants from Taiwan. It is followed by an analysis of major types of young Taiwanese in Singapore and Hong Kong with regard to: 1) their reasons for moving to Singapore or Hong Kong, 2) the types and trajectories of movement, 3) their social and cultural adaptation, and 4) prospects of returning to Taiwan. Apart from the higher pay and fringe benefits, both Singapore and Hong Kong provide them with a cosmopolitan environment for global pursuits to which their education applies. However, there are disadvantages of living in Singapore and Hong Kong, such as warmer climate, higher cost of living, social, cultural, and life-style differences. Simply mobile, they have contributed to the pool of global talents that both states compete for, while gaining overseas experiences in enhancing their skills and exposure to new social and cultural environments. At this juncture, Taiwan’s policy to recruit young global talents remain at stake, and the urgent need is to prevent their well educated professionals from leaving, as well as to attract them back with more vigorous/effective polices. Due to the impermanent nature of young Taiwanese on the move, Taiwan may want to tap this human resource as a strategy to compete for global talents, as a critical aspect of population policy and social transformation.